It’s often early morning when we meet, you and I. Before anyone else – or even the possibility of anyone else – is there to see us. Though there’s nothing much for anyone to see. Only that in one glance of shared recognition, we see each other entirely. You and I. I and You. Workers on their way to work; father, mother, son, daughter – it doesn’t matter what homes we have come from or where we are going.

In a nondescript place owned by neither of us and common to both, we look each other in the eye, hold it for a moment (that look: comprehending, comprehensive). Then move on, never to meet again.

This journalism – if that’s what it is – aims to perform that look. The look between strangers who are not estranged. It is not a look of innocence or naivety; neither is it dismissive or destructive.

I want to hold you in my eyes, to see you for who you are. It’s only fair, then, that I should make myself open to the same kind of scrutiny – unstinting but also sympathetic.